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March 14, 2018

Senate elections a blot: Achakzai

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March 14, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Mentioning the use of force and money in the Senate elections, the National Assembly members Tuesday regretted that what happened in the Senate on Monday was enough to shake the country’s foundations.

“There was blatant use of ‘Zor’ (force) and ‘Zar’ (money) in the Senate election which is enough to shake the country’s foundations,” Mahmood Khan Achakzai said while speaking in the House.

He also called upon democratic forces to rise against anti-democratic elements as the fight between the two forces had commenced.

“I have already said a fight between democratic and anti-democratic forces has begun,” Achakzai said whose party supported the PML-N candidates for the chairman and deputy chairman in the Senate election.

Sahibzada Tariqullah of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) cursed the parliamentarians who had sold out their votes in the Senate election.

“I curse those who sold out their votes and became a selling commodity in the Senate election,” he said.

Other members called for legislation to stop horse-trading in the future Senate election.

Meanwhile, Mahmood Khan Achakzai of Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party, who kicked off discussion on the issue, said what happened during the Senate election was a blot on the escutcheon of the country’s democratic history. Achakzai recalled that he had already stated that an officer in Balochistan was busy tempting and threatening the Balochistan Assembly members.

He also demanded an investigation by a joint team of Military Intelligence and a civil intelligence agency saying if his allegations proved false, he should be punished otherwise the officer deputed in Balochistan should be taken to task.

He regretted that the sacrifice of Mian Raza Rabbani was given only to bring two parties (PPP and PTI) closer to each other.

Achakzai said those who became a selling commodity were called patriots while those who resisted were considered traitors. “But, I will not sell my conscience,” he said.

The veteran politician said people asked him how he had been escaping arrest despite using harsh words in his speeches.

“I say I will not be arrested but assassinated,” he said.

Sahibzada Tariqullah of JI strongly condemned what happened during the Senate elections saying those elected had made blatant use of money.

“The top leaders of all the parties should swear that they did not use the money,” he said and asked if such people would serve the masses or mint money.

Syed Naveed Qamar of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) said the PML-N could have averted defeat in the Senate elections had they given importance to Parliament.

“They become democrats when they are in problems and become arrogant whey they are in power,” he said.

“How it could be against the Constitution and democratic norms when the opposition got united against the ruling party in the Senate elections?”

“This is not an adventure of a Colonel or Major rather everything has been happening before them (PML-N),” he said.

“No doubt, Raza Rabbani did exceptionally well as the Senate chairman but the PML-N used the card of Raza Rabbani only to exploit the situation,” he said.

Talking about the change of government in Balochistan, Qamar asked why the PML-N government had not pay heed to the MPAs’ grievances against the former chief minister.

Another PPP parliamentarian Shazia Marri asked the ruling PML-N and its allies to accept the Senate election results.

She said before pointing the finger at others, the PML-N leadership should remember their politics of ‘Changa Manga’ and creation of Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI).

She said the supporters of General Ziaul Haq were now calling Zulfikar Ali Bhutto as Shaheed and praising his ideology.

“Had they respected the ideology of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the shape of country might have been different,” she said.

Shahryar Afridi of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) asked as to why Mahmood Khan Achakzai was silent when Maryam Nawaz was offering crores of rupees to the Fata parliamentarians.

“Now when you lost the election, you are talking about horse-trading,” he said.

Without naming the judiciary, PML-N’s Captain (R) Muhammad Safdar asked as to why they were being threatened with contempt of court.

“If you are respectable, then this Parliament is a respectable institution too,” he said adding that 220 million people of the country had not accepted the July 28 verdict.

Safdar claimed that the PPP leadership had punished Raza Rabbani for his statement that politicians did not need a character certificate from anyone.

He said it was Muhammad Nawaz Sharif who revived the ideology of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, while the PPP forgot it.

“Should I teach you what is Bhutto’s ideology,” Safdar said while addressing the PPP members.

Iftikharuddin from All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) suggested that Parliament should do legislation to stop horse-trading in the Senate.

Naeema Kishwar Khan of JUI-F demanded that the Election Commission of Pakistan should take notice of horse-trading in the Senate elections.

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